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LeBron, ESPN Reach New Synergistic Low; Bosh And Wade Reportedly Team Up In Miami

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 7, 2010 2:00PM


While details are still being hammered out, it looks like LeBron James will reportedly take to the airwaves on ESPN to announce where he'll sign for the 2010-2011 season (and beyond) in a one-hour special tomorrow night. It seems in line with the kind of sensationalist coverage ESPN is becoming known for. After all, this is a network that's known for televising the press conferences where 17- and 18-year-old kids announce what colleges they'll play football for. Why should the biggest basketball player on the planet be any different? That said, it seems rather egomaniacal to set aside a whole hour on a major network just to announce where you plan to play basketball and isn't exactly worthy of a player who has zero championships. Say what you will about Jordan, his borderline psychotic competitive edge, and his equally intense grudge holding, he needed only a two-word press release to announce the biggest out-of-retirement comeback of all time. And spare us the "Oh, it's for charity" angle. This is ego-driven, pure and simple.

As has been pointed out by more people than we can count since the announcement was made last night, all signs now point to LeBron staying in Cleveland. Rumors had LeBron trying to woo Chris Bosh to the Cavs and it's unlikely LeBron would be so cruel as to make the shattering of Cleveland's (and Akron's) collective heart a spectacle on national TV [h/t to the Trib's Jimmy Greenfield for that point]. It'd be like the moment Lisa Simpson broke Ralph Wiggum's heart at the Krusty Anniversary Special times a million, the world's most-viewed snuff flick since the Zapruder film.

And now a new wrinkle: this morning, the news "broke" that Chris Bosh will be joining Dywane Wade in Miami. We say "broke" because as with every other aspect of the Free Agent Frenzy, the news come from the old, reliable "a person with knowledge of the situation." And how many times have "sources" had things so completely wrong it ceased to be funny? Too many to count. Still, this one seems firmer than most of the rumors that have been flying around so there's more credence being lent to this one.

Where would this leave the Bulls? Landing LeBron is still not out of the question but, again, it now seems most likely King James is staying put in Cleveland or off to Miami to form the new Evil Empire. And with Stoudemire heading to New York, Johnson staying put in Atlanta, and Nowitzki staying put in Dallas, it's now starting to look like the Bulls cleaned house and cap space to land... Carlos Boozer and David Lee? Which, hey, would still leave them better off than where they were last year, right? RIGHT?

We won't know until tomorrow night's extravaganza unfolds and LeBron tells a national television audience what city he has decided to grace with his larger-than-life presence and his even bigger ego on a network that is fast becoming an over-blown hype machine for the athletes it's supposed to be covering with "journalistic integrity." And, yet, we'll certainly be watching, hypocrites of the highest order, riveted until the very end by the display of drama worthy of 100 episodes of Gossip Girl. After all, are we not all witnesses?